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Running a CASL Compliant Contest

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The primary incentive for a business to run a contest is to grow their email list and social influence. This is exactly why 10’s of thousands of businesses have chosen Contest Domination as their platform of choice.

So what are you supposed to do with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL for short), and how do you get explicit consent to email subscribers?

We have you covered! Let’s break down what CASL is really all about, and how we’ve given you a 1-click way to be compliant.

CASL goes into effect on July 1st, 2014.

(Note: We are not lawyers, and this does not constitute legal advice. Consider this a self-help guide and seek legal counsel if you are unsure of your state of compliance.)

What’s The Point Of CASL?

The whole point of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation is do exactly what it sounds like. Curb unwanted email, otherwise known as SPAM.

CASL covers the sending of “commercial electronic messages” that may be accessed by a computer in Canada (which usually just means cases where the recipient is in Canada). CASL covers more than just email — it also covers texts, IMs, and automated cell phone messages sent to computers/phones in Canada.

Explicit vs Implied Consent

This is a major pillar of CASL, and is the core issue at hand.

Implied Consent – There are only a few scenario’s where implied consent can be used to email someone.

1) You have an active business/commercial relationship with the recipient.

An active business relationship exists if you have sold something to the recipient within the past 2 years, or the recipient has made an inquiry about your products at any point within the 6 months before you sent the email in question.

2) The recipient has published their contact information for the world to see with no noted exceptions for being contacted.

For example, if someone fills out an opt-in form, but doesn’t doesn’t explicitly indicate “but don’t send me anything” or “no spam, please”.

3) Someone whose “business activities” are relevant to the message you’re sending has given you their contact info without indicating they don’t want to receive your messages.

Other exceptions do exist, but they are less relevant to normal online business activity.

A grace period extends until June 30th, 2017 for emails collected prior to July 1st, 2014. During this window, consent may be implied if the recipient has not explicitly withdrawn consent AND they have either:

– Purchased something from you in the past, or
– Has made an inquiry of you at some point in the past

Explicit Consent – These 3 requirements must be met.

1) Purpose: Specify why you want consent (i.e. Subscribe for a newsletter, eBook, special offers…)

2) Information: You must give your identifying/contact information as well as the contact info of anyone else you’re getting the consent on behalf of. This includes name, mailing address, and a phone number or email for contact.

3) Ability To “Un-Consent”: You must tell them that they can unsubscribe if they’d like, and give them an easy tool to do so.

You can get this in writing or orally, but you should keep a record of when/how you got consent.

The user must also “manually opt-in” which can be fulfilled by a checkbox to indicate subscription intent (must be un-checked by default), or where they submit their information next to a submission button (think, regular opt-in forms). However, opt-in forms must include 3 items listed above.

How Do You Run CASL Compliant Contests?

At Contest Domination, we are always looking out for you!

To make it 1-click easy to be compliant, we’ve added a new feature under the confirmation settings called “subscription intent”. Simply enable the feature, and make sure the box isn’t checked by default and you’re good.

Our system will only fire the subscription to your email list service when someone has checked the box. Booyah!

This will keep you absolutely squeaky clean in terms of CASL compliance if you’re promoting to a heavily Canadian user base.

Contest Domination Subscription Intent

We hope this demonstrates, that once again we’re always trying to look out for our customers and keep them one step ahead of the ever changing landscape of online marketing.

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

P.S. Are you not a Contest Domination customer yet? Check out our free 7-day trial…

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